The “Losing My Religion” series operates on the assumption that none of the religions of Westeros, Essos, or any other continent have anything to do with actual gods. The “deities” and the lore surrounding them are in fact mythologized accounts of the history of Planetos and may give us important clues for what to expect as the next Long Night draws near.
This is Part III of a series-within-a-series. I am trying to show the credibility of a three-fold hypothesis:
- A magical comet came out of the constellation of the Maiden-Made-of-Light, known to modern Westerosi as the Moonmaid.
- It hit the earth.
- Someone used it to obtain massive amounts of power, such that he was able to control all of Essos from the Bones to the Grey Waste and rule it for ten thousand years.
Let’s revisit what little we know about the God-on-Earth:
[…] the only begotten son of the Lion of Night and Maiden-Made-of-Light, who traveled about his domains in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. For ten thousand years the Great Empire of the Dawn flourished in peace and plenty under the God-on-Earth, until at last he ascended to the stars to join his forebears. Dominion over mankind then passed to his eldest son, who was known as the Pearl Emperor and ruled for a thousand years.
The World of Ice & Fire (Kindle Locations 8490-8493)
We’ve already addressed a possibility for why he is referred to as the son of the Lion of Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light: his power may have derived from a comet that appeared to come out of the constellation now known as the Moonmaid.
So what do we know about people using magical space-stuff to wield power?
“The finest knight I ever saw was Ser Arthur Dayne, who fought with a blade called Dawn, forged from the heart of a fallen star. They called him the Sword of the Morning, and he would have killed me but for Howland Reed.”
A Clash of Kings (Kindle Locations 18954-18956)
“And now it begins,” said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.
A Game of Thrones (Kindle Locations 7113-7114)
Think about how milk glass looks. The featured image for this post is a candy dish made of milk glass.
Unless the Shivering Sea contains oysters the size of small towns that make pearls large enough to be carved into a palanquin, I would say that a palanquin said to be carved of a single pearl might logically be made of the milkglass-like substance that composes Dawn.
In other words, the God on Earth’s palanquin may have been forged from the heart of a star.
The God on Earth reigned for 10,000 years, then went back to the stars. Which, when you consider the Dothraki death customs, sounds like a poetic way of saying he finally died.
So the fallen star gave immense power, but the power doesn’t last forever. 10,000 years seems to be a sort of half-life. After the God on Earth, his descendants each live shorter and shorter lives and have less and less power.
But they always have this:
Ghosts lined the hallway, dressed in the faded raiment of kings. In their hands were swords of pale fire. They had hair of silver and hair of gold and hair of platinum white, and their eyes were opal and amethyst, tourmaline and jade. “Faster,” they cried, “faster, faster.” She raced, her feet melting the stone wherever they touched. “Faster!” the ghosts cried as one, and she screamed and threw herself forward. A great knife of pain ripped down her back, and she felt her skin tear open and smelled the stench of burning blood and saw the shadow of wings. And Daenerys Targaryen flew.
A Game of Thrones (Kindle Locations 12615-12619)
There is a great thread on Westeros.org by user Duran Durandon that connects these kings from Dany’s vision to the gemstone emperors who succeeded the God on Earth. So we have:
- A palanquin that appears to be carved of a single pearl
- Swords of pale fire
- An ancient sword, forged from the heart of a fallen star, that is pale as milk glass
I think it makes sense to connect these mystical items.
Most likely scenario, in my mind:
The God on Earth derives power from his magical palanquin; his descendants make a sword from this palanquin and pass it down; as the magical power of the material decays the sword simply becomes a unique-looking sword. The political power of the emperors and the unity of the Great Empire of the Dawn decline in tandem with the sword Dawn’s power.
Then, eventually, someone decides to make a fresh magic sword…
Next series – “Losing My Religion: Faith of the Bloodstone Emperor”